I often find myself making a lot of GAPS Diet-style meals this time of year, as soup comes into its own when the temperature drops. Lately I’ve been experimenting with AIP-friendly food too, so came this easy clam chowder recipe you can make in your Instant Pot! Find the recipe below.
The only memory I have of eating clam chowder (aside from occasional junkie seafood restaurant fare, which isn’t even that good!) is on the Oregon coast when I was a kid. We used to make the long trip from New Mexico to Oregon to visit my mom’s dad and step mom and to this day, the Oregon coast is one of my favorite places to visit.
We would drive down to the cold beach (it stays pretty chilly year-round, I understand), walk out into a large patch of sand, surrounded by pockets of pooled water, get down on our knees, and start digging. It’s the only time in my life I can remember not minding getting my hands dirty. That’s because as you dig, you find treasure: clams.
And then you get to take those clams home and your grandparents teach you how to make a delicious pot of soup out of them. To be honest, I have no idea now how we made that clam chowder, but my easy clam chowder recipe below hits the mark and takes me back to my clam digging days.
My siblings also had a knack for finding these giant slugs, literally almost as big as their heads, no lie, whose slime was so thick and gooey, it took paint thinner to remove it from their sticky hands. (I never touched them because… dirty hands. Nope.) We didn’t eat those… although we did come across a gentleman (let’s call him crazy Moe) who said if you boiled ’em long enough, they became edible. (Also nope.)
I did try to find some fresh clams at my local seafood counters, with no luck, so I settled for high-quality canned clams, with no junkie additives or preservatives. I stock up on them here for a good price (and, by the way, if you click that link, you can get 25% off and free shipping on your first order!). It’s also where I buy fish sauce.
Easy clam chowder recipe: the deets
Whether you’re a long-time lover of clam chowder, or you don’t eat it often (up until a couple weeks ago, my kids had never tasted it- but they love it!), I hope this easy clam chowder recipe will become a favorite in your house as it has mine.
The directions call for an Instant Pot, but I’ve added instructions should you want to make it in a crock pot or on the stove top. I do adore my Instant Pot so much though. In fact, this is the first and only recipe I’ve shared using the appliance. I’ll have to remedy that!
This recipe is free from gluten, grains, dairy, and artificial ingredients. The base is thickened with vegetables, but your kids won’t know the difference. 😉
It’s also Whole30, GAPS diet, paleo, and AIP-friendly, which means it’s super nourishing. Do yourself a favor and whip up these AIP pita breads from my friend Jen at Predominantly Paleo while you’re at it and get to dippin.
Easy Clam Chowder in the Instant Pot
- 24 oz chicken broth
- 12 oz fresh or frozen cauliflower
- 1/4 cup fat of choice (ghee, duck, or chicken fat are nice.)
- 2- 3.5 oz cans chopped clams & juice
- 2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
- 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
- 3-5 cloves garlic (to your taste- I like more!), peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2- 1 tsp pepper, to your taste (omit for AIP)
- crispy bacon and diced green onion, for topping
- Select "saute" on the Instant Pot and add your fat. Add the sliced onion, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper (if using).
- Saute onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
- Add broth and cauliflower and continue cooking until cauliflower is soft, about 10-15 minutes.
- Press "cancel" on the Instant Pot and transfer contents to a high-powered blender, or use a stick blender to puree until a smooth, creamy soup base forms. Return to Instant Pot.
- Add clams (and the juice from the can), sliced carrots, and fish sauce and stir.
- Press "soup" button and adjust time to 20 minutes, attach lid, and ensure vent is closed.
- Instant Pot will build pressure then begin counting down the time remaining on the display.
- Once the soup is done cooking, the Instant Pot will beep. Allow the pot to sit while the pressure slowly releases (10-15 minutes) before removing the lid. The silver indicator next to the vent will go down once it's safe to remove the lid. Alternatively, you can manually release the pressure by opening the vent; again the silver indicator will go down when pressure has been relieved.
- Ladle into bowls and top with crispy bacon pieces and chopped green onion. Serve with tortillas or flat bread, if desired.
Notes: if you prefer to make this in a crock pot, start by doing steps 2-4 in a medium-sized pot on the stove top before transferring contents to the crock pot. Complete remaining steps in the crock pot and cook for approximately 4 hours, until carrots are soft.
Likewise, if you would like to cook the soup on the stove top, after blending, return contents to a large pot on the stove top, add remaining ingredients, and simmer for approximately 1 hr, until carrots are soft.